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Drinking milk at breakfast might help manage diabetes, study finds

It could also leave you feeling fuller for longer

Olivia Petter
Monday 20 August 2018 11:27 BST
(Getty Images)

Drinking milk in the morning may reduce blood glucose levels throughout the day, which could benefit those with type 2 diabetes, new research has found.

According to a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science, consuming a high-protein milk-based drink at breakfast may also cut the risk of obesity by reducing appetite at lunchtime.

Lead author Dr Douglas Goff, of the University of Guelph in Canada, said that the findings could be key in addressing the global rise in metabolic diseases through diet.

In the study, Goff and his team of researchers examined the effects of drinking high-protein milk at breakfast alongside a high-carbohydrate cereal.

They looked at how this affected participants' blood glucose levels, their feelings of fullness and the amount of food they consumed later on in the day.

They found that thanks to the whey and casein proteins naturally found in milk, drinking it first-thing released gastric hormones that slowed digestion and increased feelings of fullness, which could reduce the risk of obesity due to a subsequent decrease in appetite later on in the day.

“This study confirms the importance of milk at breakfast to aid in the slower digestion of carbohydrate and lower blood sugar levels,” said Goff.

“Nutritionists have always stressed the importance of a healthy breakfast, and this study should encourage consumers to include milk."

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Previous research has also hailed the benefits of consuming a diet high in the protein found in dairy products.

For example, a study conducted by scientists at Tel Aviv University in 2016 revealed that whey - which is a by-product of cheese production found in many dairy products - was more effective at controlling blood sugar levels than other sources of protein, such as eggs and soy.

The study also found that consuming whey protein at breakfast significantly reduces one's appetite.

“A whey protein drink is easily prepared and provides the advantages [conferred by] a high-protein breakfast on weight loss, reduction of hunger, glucose spikes and HbA1c [glycated haemoglobin, high levels of which are linked to diabetes],” explained Dr Daniela Jakubowicz, professor of medicine at Tel Aviv University.

Goff's findings come shortly after figures released by the Local Government Association revealed a 40 per cent rise in children with type two diabetes since 2014, which experts said was largely caused by the junk-fuelled childhood obesity epidemic.

Statistics released earlier this year by Public Health England also revealed that a record 22,000 children are classed as severely obese and are consequently at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, nerve damage and stroke.

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